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Detecting Pulse From Head Motions in Video

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Published on Jun 13, 2013

We extract heart rate and beat lengths from videos by measuring subtle head motion caused by the Newtonian reaction to the influx of blood at each beat. Our method tracks features on the head and performs principal component analysis (PCA) to decompose their trajectories into a set of component motions. It then chooses the component that best corresponds to heartbeats based on its temporal frequency spectrum. Finally, we analyze the motion projected to this component and identify peaks of the trajectories, which correspond to heartbeats. When evaluated on 18 subjects, our approach reported heart rates nearly identical to an electrocardiogram device. Additionally we were able to capture clinically relevant information about heart rate variability.

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